The high school cross country season stepped off Aug. 31 as local teams competed in the Vaquero Stampede hosted by El Capitan High School. South County runners had a great deal of success on the Lindo Lake course.
Hilltop (Division 2 girls junior/senior race), Eastlake (Division 1 girls frosh/soph race) and Mater Dei Catholic (Division 3 boys frosh/soph race) all captured team titles.
Moreover, Eastlake finished second in the Division 1 girls junior/senior race and third in both the Division 1 boys frosh/soph and junior/senior divisions while Mater Dei Catholic placed second in the Division 3 girls junior/senior race and fourth in the Division 3 boys junior/senior race.
Posting winning times in 1.65-mile Division 3 races were San Ysidro senior Carina Kantera (10:54 in the girls junior/senior division) and Mater Dei Catholic sophomore Salvador Rodriguez (8:25 in the boys frosh/soph division). Mater Dei Catholic sophomore Joseph Chiappe (9:17) was also second in the boys frosh/soph race.
Among top varsity individuals, Eastlake senior Oliver Abundez finished fifth in the Division 1 boys junior/senior race by timing 11:02 on the 2.15-mile course.
This year’s Vaquero Stampede featured 12 races — four in each competition division (Division 1, Division 2 and Division 3). Races in each division were in turn broken down into boys and girls frosh/soph and boys and girls junior/senior divisions.
The Division 2 and Division 3 races took place amid 95-degree temperatures; the weather cooled down for the Division 1 races when the thermometer finally dipped below 80 degrees.
Eastlake placed seven of its runners among the top 14 finishers — three among the first six — to record its impressive team victory in the Division 1 girls frosh/soph race. Leading the way were Celiese Zasueta (second, 10:19), Mia Costello (fifth, 10:34), Sarah Gray (sixth, 10:47), Jessica Most (10th, 11:11) and Makena Cash (12thm 11:19).
Hilltop captured the Division 2 girls junior/senior race behind the fleet feet of juniors Lorena Mendoza (eighth, 11:12), Hannah Galleher (17th, 11:39), Emily Reilly (18th, 11:41), Yadira Moqueda (27th, 12:31) and Rebeca Valenzuela (32nd, 12:50).
MDC out-pointed Mission Vista 29-34 to grab first place in the Division 3 boys frosh/soph race. Following the 1-2 finish by Rodriguez and Chiappe were teammates Tony Rubio (sixth, 9:41), Ezekiel Campos (ninth, 9:47) and Juan Pablo Villegas (11th, 9:54). The Crusaders’ top five finished among the top 15 percent in the field of 70 runners.
Jasmine Vasquez (sixth, 10:43), Ridley Gatlin (eighth, 10:55), Jackie Villalobos (10th, 11:05), Anita Sanchez (12th, 11:07) and Olivia Miller (14th, 11:09) keyed Eastlake’s runner-up team in the Division 1 girls junior/senior race. The Titans’ five-person spread was 26 seconds.
Eastlake, paced by Abundez, finished third in the team standings in Division 1 boys junior/senior race. Following Abundez’s lead were teammates Jacob Barr (13th, 11:30) Joshua Williams (14th, 11:49, Andre Lobato (24th, 12:14) and Alex Hayslip (34th, 12:57).
A total of 132 runners competed in the Division 1 boys frosh/soph race. In scoring its third-place team finish, Eastlake placed all five of its scorers — and all seven harriers — among the top 20 percent of the finishers. The Titans’ five-man spread was 50 seconds for the 1.65-mile race. Finishing in order were top scorers Andres Correa (eighth, 8:49), Alan Echazarreta (ninth, 8:52), Alexander Samaniego (19th, 9:22), Joshua House (21st, 9:33) and Brent Avery (25th, 9:39).
•Mater Dei Catholic junior Miranda Campos (11:10) posted a meteoric fourth-place finish in the Division 3 girls junior/senior race while MDC sophomore Diana DeLaToba (11:47) finished fifth in the Division 3 girls frosh/soph race. Also for the Crusaders, freshman teammate Brighid Healy (11:54) was sixth in the Division 3 girls frosh/soph race while junior Madelyn Healy was eighth in the Division 3 girls junior/senior race.
•Senior Justin Ryan (12:27) led MDC to its fourth place team finish in the Division 3 boys junior/senior race with a sixth-place individual finish.
•For Southwest, sophomore Erica Basa (11:15) finished sixth overall in the Division 2 frosh/soph race, sophomore Hector Chavez (9:25) finished 14th in the Division 2 boys frosh/soph race and senior Dario Baeza (11:41) finished 16th in the 108-deep Division 2 boys junior/senior race.
•San Ysidro, led by Brian Diaz (17th, 10:09), finished sixth in the Division 3 boys frosh/soph race.
•Mar Vista (seventh), Hilltop (ninth) and Southwest (10th) keyed South County finishers in the Division 2 boys junior/senior race.
•Hilltop (sixth) and Southwest (seventh) finished as the top Metro teams in the Division 2 frosh/soph race.
18th annual Mustang/East Hills Realty
Cross Country Invitational
Friday, Sept. 13
Rohr Park, Chula Vista
3 p.m. – Boys junior varsity Silver Division (2.3 miles)
3:30 p.m. – Boys junior varsity Blue Division (2.3 miles)
3:55 p.m. – Girls varsity Silver Division (2.3 miles)
4:25 p.m. – Girls varsity Blue Division (2.3 miles)
4:55 p.m. – Boys varsity Silver Division (3.1 miles)
5:20 p.m. – Boys varsity Blue Division (3.1 miles)
5:45 p.m. – Girls junior varsity Silver Division (1.65 miles)
6:05 p.m. – Girls junior varsity Blue Division (1.65 miles)
6:25 p.m. – Boys overflow race (2.3 miles)